Video: Palestinians struggle to make ends meet as food prices rise

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Palestinians are finding it hard to secure payments for food as certain prices in the territories have doubled.

Suhaib Hamad, dressed in traditional attire, has sold licorice juice in the vegetable market in Ramallah for the last five years. Hamad sells one licorice-filled glass for a quarter of a dollar. But the demand for his juice is taking a dive as the price of sugar, the main ingredient for the drink has doubled.

“Parents and children are avoiding me because they can’t afford to buy the drink,” Hamad said.

An old lady from Ramallah has also said that people in the Palestinian territories do not have enough money to buy the food they need, while a man said emphasized that he can’t even purchase “two kilos of meat” for his family, given it will cost him a three-day salary.

Meanwhile, Nadir Saeed, director of the Institute of the Arab World for Research and Development (AWRAD), said middle-class Palestinians are now at risk of losing their food security.

“There is a big increase in prices and there is a decrease in the income for middle class Palestinian families.”

On Friday, the United Nations sounded the alarm over the deteriorating situation of food security in Palestinian territories. It said one in three Palestinian households are now struggling to feed their families.

“High food prices and low wages mean that 1.6 million Palestinians don’t know from where their next meal is coming,” said Ertharin Cousin, the executive director of the U.N. World Food Program, said.

The United Nations cited high unemployment rates, stagnant economic growth and the Palestinian Authority’s financial problems.

A supermarket owner in Ramallah claimed only five customers entered his store by noon on Wednesday. This highlights the crisis Palestinian customers are in and how they are finding it more and more difficult to afford frozen meat and canned food.

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